Mexican Blindcat


The Mexican blindcat (Prietella phreatophila) is a rare subterranean catfish known from twelve sites in Coahuila, Mexico. Members of our team recently documented a population in Val Verde County, Texas, the first confirmed occurrence of this species in the United States.

Project Details:

The objective of this initiative is to analyze the geographical spread, ecological aspects, and conservation status of the targeted species. This will be achieved through the implementation of fieldwork in both the United States and Mexico. The San Antonio Zoo currently manages the exclusive captive colony of this species, and ongoing endeavors are focused on devising husbandry protocols and establishing a breeding population in captivity. Current activities include conducting surveys to identify suitable habitats at Amistad National Recreation Area and various locations along the Devil’s River. In Mexico, the fieldwork entails revisiting previously identified sites and documenting new ones through cave and spring surveys, as well as employing environmental DNA analysis. Notably, this project has recently secured a grant from the National Park Service and a US Fish and Wildlife Service Section 6 grant to facilitate surveys in Texas and Coahuila. Despite two decades of collaborative investigation into this species by project partners, the formal commencement of this specific project traces back to the year 2016.

Project Partners: National Park Service, University of Texas at Austin Biodiversity Collections, and Zara Environmental LLC


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